Tazumal El Salvador. An iconic Mayan archaeological site

Tazumal Mayan Ruins El Salvador
Tazumal Mayan Ruins in El Salvador.

Tazumal El Salvador is a fantastic Salvadoran archaeological site that dates back to pre-Columbian times. These Maya ruins are part of the impressive Chalchuapa archaeological zone. Also, Tazumal was the first archaeological park in El Salvador, which is among the oldest in Central American.

Before the Europeans arrived in what is now known as Central America. The Maya were one of the dominant and impressive cultures that thrived in the area.

After their collapse, the Maya Indians left many fascinating architectural remains scattered all over the region; Tazumal ruins in El Salvador are one of those.

Even though the Tazumal ruins are not as impressive as those found in countries like Guatemala or Belize, they are definitely worth visiting and exploring.

Short info about Tazumal El Salvador.

According to historians, The site got its name from the farm or state that existed in this location. Furthermore, it is generally accepted that Tazumal is indigenous; however, there is no general consensus on what the word means or what language it belongs to.

The land where Tazumal was located was in private hands until the Salvadoran government purchased it. In April 1952, the Tazumal museum was inaugurated; since then, Tazumal is a destination for education and tourism purposes.

Mayan Ruins Tazumal El Salvador

Visiting Tazumal El Salvador.

The Tazumal ruins are a big part of the Salvadoran heritage and culture that you should see and explore as a Salvadoran or foreigner.

The ruins are located in the city of Chalchuapa, about 75 kilometers from San Salvador and about 14 kilometers from the town of Santa Ana.

If you want to get the best out of the Salvadoran archaeological route. I recommend you visit Tazumal as part of visiting other Mayan ruins in the area, such as San Andres, Casa Blanca, or Joya de Ceren, some of the best Maya ruins in El Salvador.

As always, if you are visiting the Salvadoran Mayan ruins, I recommend you use the services of a Salvadoran Tour Company.

Stanley Boggs.

Archeologist Stanley Boggs is credited with saving this site from increasing destruction; he worked on excavating and restoring the area from 1942 to the early 1950s.

When Boggs started his examinations of the site, he discovered that the main pyramid and other structures were being damaged by the extraction of rock and soil. The excavated rock and soil were being used for new constructions.

He created a plan and blueprint of how to structure the site, excavate it, restore it, and prevent it from disappearing.

Stanley Boggs was criticized because he used cement during the renovation of Tazumal. Nevertheless, his work generated interest on the site, avoiding what otherwise would have been its gradual decay.

Short history of Tazumal El Salvador.

Archaeological studies show that Tazumal was inhabited from the Classic period to the Post Classic period. Furthermore, Tazumal had links to other far regions such as central Mexico, the northern Yucatan Peninsula, and even lower Central America.

Historians believe that the Tazumal construction took place between the end of the Late Pre Classic and the start of the Early Classic. Furthermore, they think that the building of Tazumal was disrupted by the eruption of the Ilopango volcano, which is now a volcanic caldera.

There is evidence that the population of Tazumal coexisted with the Pipil Indians from the Classic through to the Early Postclassic periods, until at least 1200 AD.

The evidence also shows that the Pipil influence may have been due to trade with the nearby Pipil populations rather than a direct Pipil presence in Tazumal.

At the time of the Spanish conquest, Tazumal and the Chalchuapa area were inhabited by the Poqomam Maya, which is believed to have been relatively late settlers Chalchuapa area.

Mayan Ruin Tazumal
Tazumal Ruins in El Salvador

Tazumal structures.

The principal structures of Tazumal date back to the Classic period, 250 to 900 AD, of Mesoamerican chronology, and by the Late Classic period, 600 to 900 AD, Tazumal was an important ceremonial complex.

During the Late Classic period, Tazumal had links with the city of Copan in Honduras, this is evident because of the architecture, sculpture, and ceramics found at Tazumal.

Structure B1-1.

This structure, known as B1-1, is the main pyramid in Tazumal, which overlooks the complex.

The B1-1 structure was rebuilt by Stanley Boggs upon a basal platform, which he called, the Great Platform; it measures at about 73 by 87 meters. It is believed that structure B1-1 was developed from a central temple with platforms on each side.

The structure B1-1, on the western platform, supports another structure known as the Temple of the Columns, which is also a favorite structure to see.

The structure B1-1 is the one most popular attractions people come to see in Tazumal; also, it is the face of the ruins in the public eye.

Structure B1-2.

According to experts, structure B1-2 dates back to the Late Classic Period; this structure is located to the Southwest of the main pyramid or B1-1 structure.

The B1-2 structure faces west, and it has three stepped levels standing on a low platform. The pyramid measures about 82 by 82 feet and reaches around 22 feet tall.

Structure B1-3 and B1-4.

The structures B1-3 and B1-4, are the two principal structures that constitute the ballcourt. The excavation done in Tazumal during the first decade of the 21st century discovered the floor of an I-shaped ballcourt.

Tazumal El Salvador
Photo by: Roberto Ortiz.

Tazumal sculptures and artifacts.

There are many sculptures and artifacts found in Tazumal that date far back to the Pre classic Period. These artifacts and sculptures have similarities to artifacts from central Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula.

The sculptures and artifacts from Tazumal can be seen and appreciated at the local Stanley Boggs museum in Chalchuapa or at the anthropology museum in San Salvador.

Tazumal El Salvador.

Tazumal El Salvador is a fantastic place to learn about the Maya culture; and also to appreciate ruins that date back to pre-colonial times.

So, if you ever get the chance, visit Tazumal in the municipality of Chalchuapa! It is one of the best Mayan ruins in El Salvador.

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